International Viewpoints (IVy), Issue 33 - August 1997
Philosophy, Technology and Policy
By Peter Graham, Australia
There are three main categories of materials in scientology. In addition to technology and policy, there is also a lot of philosophical material.
Under the heading of philosophy, there are things such as the Axioms, the Logics, the Factors, the Code of Honor, The Way to Happiness, the ARC triangle, the cycle of action, the dynamics, life as a game, numerous philosophical articles (including My Philosophy), practically everything in Scientology 08, the Book of Basics, plus many more.
There is an important relationship between philosophy, technology and policy which can be represented diagrammatically as shown below.
This relationship applies to the activities and games of any individual, group, tribe or nation and it also
applies to Mankind as a whole.
Philosophy is senior to the other two factors. It is philosophy that determines what technology and policies will be developed or selected and how they will be applied. Technology, of course, consists of the methods and techniques. And, policy exists to facilitate the application of the technology within the framework of the ideals, values and principles of the underlying philosophy.
In practice, these three factors can all influence each other. A new technical discovery may lead to a new philosophical insight. A review of an unworkable policy may bring about a clarification or modification of an existing philosophical principle. A philosophical datum may be enshrined in policy or may be used in a technique (such as the ARC triangle in the recall technique "ARC Straightwire").
All have a philosophy
Every practitioner, group or business has a philosophy (clearly defined or not), some technology, and some policies
or operational guidelines. To function optimally, the three factors need to be well developed and in alignment
with each other.
Every person has some sort of a philosophy of life, some strategies and methods (technology) for achieving things and some rules or policies that he/she tries to follow. Some individuals are completely unaware of having a personal philosophy. But they still have one, no matter how unexamined, unworkable or confused it may be. Consider what the philosophy of a criminal or beggar might be.
"Each person ... (has) an outlook on life which differs in some respects from those of his fellows. Nevertheless, his conduct considered as a whole represents an attitude toward his environment which, for want of a better term, may be called his philosophy of life. It is in this sense that the oft quoted words of G. K. Chesterton were intended to apply when he remarked that, whilst it is important for a landlady to know the income of her prospective lodger, it is even more essential for her to know his philosophy of life." -- S. Curtis.
During the latter part of my involvement with Scientology organizations, we heard an awful lot about technology and policy, but very little about philosophy. Incredibly, the essential philosophy of scientology fell largely out of view. In 1970, Hubbard claimed that all that was needed to "clear a group" was to remove illegal policy or counter-policy. No mention of counter-philosophy or a false or missing philosophy. Compare that to his early statement (in Notes on the Lectures) that "group engrams" are formed by arbitrary rules and orders which "distort the ideals and ethics and rationale of the group".
The "evaluation technology" used by upper management from 1970 onwards to "handle situations" required the relevant policy or policies to be stated when doing "an evaluation" but did not require the relevant philosophical materials to be referenced as well. If that had been a requirement, it may well have changed the whole history of scientology from that point.
There is an obvious relationship between technology and policy no matter what field you are in. There needs to be some rules and guidelines to get the technology applied correctly or to facilitate its application. There is also an obvious relationship between technology and philosophy. Mention of the relationship between technology and philosophy is made in several of Hubbard's works.
In one version of the book DMSMH (the version dedicated to Elbert Hubbard, 1950, 6th printing 1956), Appendix 1 is called "The Philosophic Method" which is an extract from a book by William Durant. It discusses the relationship between science and philosophy.
"Science tells us how to heal and how to kill ... but only wisdom ... can tell us when to heal and when to kill." ... "Science without philosophy, facts without perspective and valuation, cannot save us from havoc and despair. Science gives us knowledge but only philosophy can give us wisdom" -- William Durant.
In his book The Creation of Human Ability, Hubbard wrote: "There are two distinct divisions in scientology. The first is philosophic, the second is technical", which he then expands on. He also states that the philosophical side of scientology could stand alone (without the technology).
Later, he wrote: "All we know of science and of religion comes from philosophy. It lies behind and above all other knowledge we have or use." -- My Philosophy (1965).
And later, he wrote: "Whenever we as an organization violate the basic philosophy of Dianetics and Scientology we get into muddy water." (November 1980).
Some years ago, I examined the main things that I strongly disagreed with regarding the CofS and Scn organizations
at the time. In each case, it was easy to identify the philosophical principles of scientology that had been overlooked
or set aside. Example: The policy or practice of disconnection was not consistent with the datums "when in
doubt, communicate" and "communication is the universal solvent".
Another example: There is evidence that in the seventies crimes were committed to help achieve "a world without insanity, war or crime". Several leading figures were jailed as a result of those crimes. Spot the contradiction. The viewpoint that "the end justifies the means" is an alien philosophy. There are also philosophic materials on topics such as justice, ethics and exchange (for services), which were key areas of disagreement or grievance amongst those I surveyed in the mid eighties who had resigned from the CofS.
Truth versus ends justify means
Truth was a fundamental of fundamentals in the original subject of scientology. The axioms of scientology certainly
have something to say about truth. And about lies. Later, with "the fair game law", it became acceptable
to not be truthful about certain people or groups deemed to be "enemies" or considered to have "counter-intentions".
Also, incorrectly labeling people as being in certain low conditions was at odds with the known consequences of
wrong indications (untruths), especially when done with force or threat.
Understanding the relationship between philosophy, technology and policy helps to explain how scientology organizations went off the rails to the extent that they did. The truth is that they could get back on the rails simply by recovering the original subject and being true to its basic philosophy. The rest would start to fall into place. The subject of scientology is after all an "applied philosophy".
It can be extremely rewarding for an individual to systematically inspect, review and revise or refine the core viewpoints, beliefs and values that comprise much of his/her philosophy of life. In clearing sessions, things like false beliefs, fixed ideas and stuck viewpoints are often reviewed and resolved. Where these are particularly basic, the resultant benefits and re-alignments can be huge and life changing. Despite rumors to the contrary, the truth still sets one free.
Copyright © 1997 by Peter D. Graham. All right reserved.